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21 October - 17 November
FoSS and ESRC logos

RAF Harrowbeer – an interactive Second World War exhibit

3 World War 2 RAF aircraft parked on a runway

What’s on offer?

Presented by Rob Giles and Dr Harry Bennett from the University's School of Society and Culture, this interactive exhibit showcases the authentic infrastructure and daily operations of this historic site. Take this opportunity to step into the past and experience history first-hand.

What’s it about?

The emergency civil engineering programme to build Britain's wartime airfields like Harrowbeer was one of the biggest engineering projects in British history. The extent of that project has all but been forgotten as most of those airfields have been returned to civilian use, redeveloped, returned to nature or fallen into dereliction. RAF Harrowbeer was one of those wartime airfields, and many people in South West Devon are familiar with the landscape there today. The model offers them a chance to understand what that landscape was like 80 years ago, and to understand Harrowbeer's place in the Second World War.

Together and with the assistance of Michael Hayes, Archivist at the RAF Harrowbeer Archives, Education and Heritage Centre, Rob and Harry have created the basis for an ever increasing interactive application that potentially could engage, intrigue and educate a new generation of budding historians bringing a new visual perception to one of Plymouth’s lost historic sites of interest.

This event will showcase a digital third person scaled representation RAF Harrowbeer. There will be a 40 minute talk by Rob and Harry about the airfield, its day-to-day tasks and the events that occurred particularly in its most active year of 1943 (Battle of Britain). We will be joined by Michael for a further Q&A session after the main talk.

Please register for this event via the link below. A short video on RAF Harrowbeer 1943 by Time-Lock Productions can also be viewed here


or for further information.

Who’s leading the event?

Dr Harry Bennett, Associate Professor in History, Rob Giles, Senior Technician and Michael Hayes, Archivist RAF Harrowbeer Archives

Open to


Of particular interest to

Of particular interest to those interested in local history